Thursday was day two of Cirque III. The loyalists were there, much older - Woody Allen looking like your grandpa and Felix Rohatyn as tall and white as the Queen Mom; Kissinger, I was told, had been in the night previous - everybody was a powerful somebody but not a young or new face in the crowd, yet.
Last night was clearly for devotes of Serio and it was a good thing because red flags (metaphorically) were up all over the place. One word first about the decor. It is spectacular, Tahani at his very best, a sensuous, curving , sensational space you just want to be in.
But now the hearts and bones of the matter: service was utterly lacking, a shock in anything with the Le Cirque name. Gone also is any edge of invention from the Cirque kitchen. It's Dover Sole, lobster salad and Colorado lamb. The Peekytoe crab app. is an awful mess; the mackerel three ways is much better but with mackerel's unfortunate aroma that makes you wonder if someone opened a can for the cat. Veal loin with tiny giroles is lovely but where is the high wire act that under Daniel or Sotta Kuhn that turned out dishes so good you'd willingly eat them in a closet with the lights off.
Desserts are a return to glamour - the floating island, the mille feuille and others blown out to dimensions of indulgence straight from the grandest Cirque memories.
So it was day two and overcharged and disappointed I still considered myself fortunate to have gotten in early. It will improve, so the wise will wait while the lemmings run, and hopefully Serio and chums will do something about that woeful menu; the service will come.